Today, MBA degree is undoubtedly the most famous degree in India. Thanks to the obscene packages (as one of my MBA faculty speaks of the packages) offered to most of the B-School graduates. Rising packages of IIMs and international placements constitue the headlines easily during the placement season. Many students are of the opinion that placements are the USPs of an MBA degree.
However, I am of a different opinion. I genuinely feel that the much hullabaloo (created due to placements) around the MBA degree has done much of a disservice to the student community than good to it. Nearly, every Engineer who passes out of E-School even before personally reading about the MBA program details offered by the institutes orients himself to join a B-School, forget about taking an exposure in the industry or understanding the fundamentals of business administration which should form the guideliness to form a decision to go for an MBA. The ultimate result of which is “A dissatisfied MBA graduate in his post-graduation tenure and finally a non-interested and relatively lesser competent manager than expected passes into industry”.
Majority of the prospective students entering an MBA do it inorder to switch their career. But, as per my observation, these students are not fully aware of what they want to get into and tend to experiment a lot (Probably, I am one of them). One of the incident I would like to quote here is of one of the alumni of my institute who worked in IT industry wanted a switch, came for an MBA but later in the second year realised he wanted to pursue MBA in advertising which was not offered by the institute. I think the indecisiveness manytimes hits such students badly as was the case with my senior and thereby the student is not able to appreciate the program and design his curriculm (choose electives) to get benefitted from it the most.
Moreover, the Indian mentality of judging a students calibre on his ability to score reflects on the selection system of B-Schools. You would rarely find a 90 percentiler or 80 percentiler student making it to IIMs. But, at the same time you may find a 650 score getter making it to Harvard Business School. B-Schools tend to give more weightage to written scores and the underlying concept is to identify the best score not the best learner which is derivative of the Indian mentality of scoring more nor learning more. The same mentality percolates during the post-graduation tenure as well and the MBA graduates slog hard to get a higher score in the examination. According to many of the passed out MBA graduates, higher score does not necessarily reflect in depth subject knowledge and pragmatic approach.
Taking all of these aspects, I do feel Indian MBAs do not make great leaders. One of the Harvard Professors commented once about Indian MBA Managers “Indian MBA Managers can keep a well-doing business afloat or move upwards, however they cannot errect a dying business.“
One of the panacea for the flaws in the MBA system of India which have been mentioned above can be pre-requisite work experience before joining MBA. The best B-Schools around the world have such pre-requisites of work experience. Work experience often lets a candidate understand the practical aspects of industry, clears confusion about career path and hence is able to appreciate the MBA program in a much better mode.
With various coaching institutes helping aspiring students to crack the tests and the GD/PIs, I feel somewhere the basic aptitude and intellegence of a candidate is not put into test in the present format of tests. Some of the institutes like ISB, G-LAKES, SPJIMR, SCMHRD, even IIMs have now adopted selection process in which the weightage given to written scores have come down and resume evaluation (background story) is being enforced.
Leadership or life cannot be taught in the class, but surely education system and enterance systems can be altered to help student learn leadership outside the class. The underlying fundamental concept of an enterance system needs to be indentifying the best learners not the best scorers.